Alaska Northern Lights With Igloo

Still a classic - an Igloo in northern Alaska with Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) dancing above.


picture of Alaska Northern Lights With Igloo
Photo of an Igloo in the Brooks Range with Northern Lights dancing above - northern Alaska, USA.

Probably one of my most successful shots. I planned the shot of the Igloo with the Northern Lights for quite some time. Unfortunately mother nature does not always cooperate with photographers. After we built the Igloo, which took us two days, the weather changed (almost as "usually" beforte a "big shot"). It was frustrating to have the Igloo ready for days but the weather would just not work with me. I spent night after night out here hoping for a gap in the clouds and freezing my butt of at the same time. Temperatures sometimes were below 40.

After a few days the weather finally cleared and I was happy that clouds did not longer block my view into the cold Alaska nights. If I remember right, it was the third night that finally weather AND northern lights were on my side. I actually planned this shot on my 8x10 large format camera, but I had to set up the camera waaay before dark, by the time the northern lights arrived the shutter was frozen and I could not open the aperture. It was quite painful after all the waiting, sitting and freezing - but not everything was lost. I used my Contax 6x4.5 with a external battery pack, I was able to keep the camera "warm" all day and night so I did not run into the same problem.

I set inside the Igloo a Coleman Lamp which provided a warm enough light, I messured all the details before the Aurora borealis started dancing. After about 30 seconds into the shot I had to switch the Lamp off to make sure the Igloo will keep all the details and will not be washed out. Although I can't recall today the exact shutter speed I used I remeber that it was around 5 minutes, which makes sense when you look deep into the picture and focus on the stars which left a short star-trail behind.

The Igloo with the Northern Lights is still one of my very favourites - not only because it was a lot of hard work involved.


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Picture: "Alaska Northern Lights With Igloo"
Photographer: Rolf Hicker Photography
Photo Name: igloo_northern_lights - Alaska Northern Lights With Igloo


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